Sunday , March 26 2023

Joint complaints committee for health providers

Eight health care providers from St. Maarten, Saba and Eustatius have chosen to share a complaint regulation and are working together to establish a joint Complaints Committee that is suitable to effectively handle complaints from patients of their institutions fairly and without bias. This writes The Daily Herald. These health care providers are White and Yellow Cross, Mental Health Foundation, Turning Point Foundation and St. Maarten Medical Center Foundation (SMMC) on St. Maarten; St. Eustatius Auxiliary Home Foundation and St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation on St. Eustatius and Benevolent Foundation Saba and Saba Health Care Foundation on Saba.
The complaint regulation is established to offer patients and users of their health care services an opportunity to express any dissatisfaction they may have experienced in relation to the care and or services provided by the participating health care providers. The complaint regulation and committee focus is that the complainant feels heard and the services are improved. In previous years, White and Yellow Cross and SMMC already shared an independent complaints committee. The regulations have been significantly adjusted so that health care providers of all three islands can be included.The health care providers encourage users of their services to contact them in the first instance; if the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved then it will be forwarded to the Committee. The Committee will include five persons: at least one person from Saba, one person from St. Eustatius and two from St. Maarten, who can be affiliated with the participating health care providers and an independent chairperson who is not affiliated with any of the participating health care providers. Community minded persons who are skilled in mediation, have an objective stance and prone to observe confidentially have the opportunity to postulate themselves as members on the committee. To ensure that the committee has all the expertise to deal with the complaints, profiles have been established. The chairperson should preferably have a legal background and at least one of the members should be a medical or care professional, SMMC said on Monday. Members of the committee will work on a voluntary basis and will be appointed for a period of three years. The committee will meet every two months, at least four times per year or more frequently if required, for a proper execution of its responsibilities. SMMC said the proper handling of a complaint is key to restore the relationship between patients and/or users and the health care provider. “With the establishment of the joint Complaints Committee, the health care providers strive for a professional and smooth approach in resolve of a complaint which can provide an opportunity to improve the services. As such, the participating health care providers view the importance of an independent complaint committee as a vital part of their respective quality care systems,” SMMC said. Persons interested in a position on the committee can contact Complaints Committee Secretary Hester Versleyen via email at

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